★★★★ Inspiration is Only the Spark, by artist, writer, and creativity coach Mary Theis, is for established and hopeful artists alike. In her book, Theis provides readers with a variety of quick, straightforward tips and strategies to nurture ongoing creativity and expression. Theis understands firsthand how the demands of everyday life can profoundly interrupt an artist’s work. Thus, she sets out to address the many barriers to creativity. In order to give readers the diverse toolsets they need to succeed as creators, Inspiration is Only the Spark provides bits of wisdom that span nine major areas: Distractions, Awareness, Support (Physical, Emotional and Motivational), Commitment, Priorities, Goals, Planning, Play/Explore, and Dream. Scattered throughout the book are inspirational quotes and colorful illustrations intended to motivate the delight. There is also a short list of recommended reading included in the back of the book.
Inspiration is Only the Spark is an accessible handbook to a life of creative expression. The nuggets of wisdom that make up the book are vast and include, for instance, ways to set realistic goals, how to give yourself a pep talk that really works, and how to tackle your daily errands as efficiently as possible. In the opening of the book, Theis makes it clear that readers are not required to start on page one and work their way through to the end. Instead, Theis calls Inspiration is Only the Spark “a buffet of concepts and tools” meant for readers to pick and choose from as helpful. In that way, Inspiration is Only the Spark is a book that all artists should keep nearby—when an issue arises and one’s art suffers, Theis’s endless advice is certain to respark the creative flame!